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Open AccessArticle

Assessment of Thermosonication as Postharvest Treatment Applied on Whole Tomato Fruits: Optimization and Validation

MARE—Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre, Instituto Politécnico de Leiria, 2520-630 Peniche, Portugal
Escola Superior de Turismo e Tecnologia do Mar, Instituto Politécnico de Leiria, 2520-641 Peniche, Portugal
UTI—Unidade de Tecnologia e Inovação, Instituto Nacional de Investigação Veterinária e Agrária, Avenida da República, Quinta do Marquês, 2780-157 Oeiras, Portugal
GeoBiotec—GeoBioTec Research Institute, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Campus de Caparica, 2829-516 Caparica, Portugal
Universidade Católica Portuguesa, CBQF—Centro de Biotecnologia e Química Fina—Laboratório Associado, Escola Superior de Biotecnologia, Rua Diogo Botelho 1327, 4169-005 Porto, Portugal
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
The article is part of the Ph.D thesis of the first author, Joaquina Pinheiro.
Foods 2019, 8(12), 649;
Received: 7 November 2019 / Revised: 28 November 2019 / Accepted: 3 December 2019 / Published: 6 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quality and Functionality of Plant Foods)
Tomatoes are a popular and rich fruit due to their nutritional and bioactive composition as vitamins, antioxidants, and phenolics contributing to the promotion of consumer health. For this reason, emerging postharvest technologies need to be evaluated to achieve the maintenance of sensorial and quality-related characteristics, like color and texture, while aiding to fruit decontamination. Optimization of thermosonication as postharvest treatments on whole, mature-green tomatoes (cv. “Zinac”) to improve quality (color, texture, total phenolic content, and weight loss) was performed by response surface methodology. Temperature (32–48 °C), treatment time (13–47 min), and storage period at 10 °C (1–15 days) at constant ultrasound frequency (45 kHz; 80% power level), were the independent variables. In general, thermosonication delayed tomato color changes while achieving total phenolic content increase and good overall quality. Three optimal thermosonication conditions were selected and validated (32 °C-13 min, 35 °C-20 min and 40 °C-30 min). The most suitable thermosonication condition that promoted a longer storage while keeping a high-quality standard was at 40 °C during 30 min. This study demonstrated that thermosonication provides an effective alternative methodology to guarantee tomato quality without significant change during the expected postharvest period. View Full-Text
Keywords: tomato; thermosonication; postharvest treatment; quality; storage tomato; thermosonication; postharvest treatment; quality; storage
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Pinheiro, J.; Ganhão, R.; M. Gonçalves, E.; L.M. Silva, C. Assessment of Thermosonication as Postharvest Treatment Applied on Whole Tomato Fruits: Optimization and Validation. Foods 2019, 8, 649.

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